Will Trail Mix Go Bad? (And How to Avoid it)

If you like to do bulk grocery shopping, then there is a chance that you bought multiple packets of trail mix and forgot about them.

Or maybe you bought multiple packets and are now wondering how long will your trail mix last.

So, will trail mix go bad?

Nuts and dried fruit mix can last around one month at room temperature, between 3 to 6 months in the refrigerator, and up to two years in the freezer. If stored properly in an air-tight container, trail mix is safe to eat within six months of the labeled expiration date.

Expired nuts may be safe to eat; however, there is no way to know if they won’t cause a reaction. Therefore, it is good to ensure quality before consumption. 

If you know that the trail mix is old, check for mold, insects, or foul smells. These are clear indicators that your trail mix is not fit for consumption, and you must discard it. 

 Here is what you should know before eating your favorite snack mix.

The lifespan of your trail mix depends on how you store it. Typically, the trail mix lasts only around a month at room temperature once opened.

However, most nuts will last between 3 to 6 months in the refrigerator and 1 to 2 years in the freezer.

An air-tight container is the best storage medium, especially in the fridge. Storing in the refrigerator prevents the nuts from taking in any smells and flavors from the foods around them.

Can You Eat Trail Mix after Expiration Date?

An expiration date does not signify that the product has gone bad. It is more of an estimate, and you can safely consume the trail mix if it looks and smells fresh.

Eating your trail mix within six months of its expiration date is entirely safe, especially if it is stored appropriately.

If not appropriately stored, trail mix and nuts are prone to spoilage. Always check your mix for mold or smell before eating.

If you have already consumed stale trail mix, you could get an upset stomach, but no severe health issues are likely to happen.

How Should I store my Trail Mix?

It is common practice to store all your snacks in the pantry. However, this is not the recommended storage method for trail mixes, nuts, and dried fruits. 

Store trail mix and nuts in your fridge or freezer to keep them fresh. Otherwise, they will go stale. Nuts are more likely to spoil at room temperature due to light, air, and varying temperature.

Storing your mixed nuts in the fridge or freezer will limit this exposure and keep them fresh for a prolonged time.

To properly store your trail mix, keep it in an air-tight container, like glass jars. This practice helps to lock out the moisture, foreign smells, and taste of other foods from seeping into the trail mix. 

Storage in the freezer is your best option if you want to keep them for a more extended period. 

But if you prefer to keep your snack mix at room temperature, you should adequately seal them and store them in a cool, dry place.

If stored correctly, keeping them in a calm and dark spot will allow the nuts to remain fresh for up to 3 months.

Can Mixed Nuts go Bad?

Nuts are likely to go stale due to their high levels of unsaturated fat.

Expiration dates are not always the most accurate way of knowing if your trail mix is expired because nuts will turn stale once their oils turn rancid, regardless of the expiration date.

You can usually eat nut mixes past their expiration date if stored properly in a refrigerator or freezer.

Some nuts will last longer than others, depending on their type and quality at the packaging time. 

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How to Check for Bad Nuts

To know whether your trail mix is past its consumption date, check if anything looks visually off.

Examine the trail mix for any mold, fuzz, or pantry bugs that may have made their way into the mix. If you see any of the above in the container, it is best to throw the trail mix out. 

The second step in checking the mix for any spoilage is the smell. If the nuts smell harsh or bitter, the nut seed mix is probably not fit to eat, and you must toss it out.

Although there are no severe health issues related to eating rancid nuts, you should still not eat them.

How Long Does Dried Fruit Last?

Dried fruit like raisins and cranberries are less likely to turn stale because of lower water content. As a result, they can last several months after their printed expiration date if stored properly. 

When placed in an air-tight container, dried fruit can usually last six months to a year after it expires. 

Dried fruits and nuts can be stored in the freezer indefinitely if sealed correctly.

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How to Know if Dried Fruit is Rotten

There are several ways of identifying spoiled dried fruit. Any discoloration is the first sign of spoilage in dried fruits, as it turns a darker shade than usual when bad. The texture will also differ when the fruit is spoiled.

Another thing to look out for is smell and flavor. A musky rotten smell and stale taste will mean the dried fruits have gone bad, and you should throw them out.

Lastly, check for any visible mold. Mold is unlikely to happen, but it is always possible.

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Should I Wash Nuts Before Storing Them?

You don’t need to wash the nuts before storing them. Of course, you can wash them before eating, but keeping them dry is recommended. If you wash them, ensure they are dry before storing them in a container.

Keeping them dry is important because storing damp nuts will likely cause mold and spoilage.

Final Words

Now that you know more about your healthy trail’s lifespan, you can be sure whether or not your snacks are good to eat.

Always check on the appearance and smell of your nut mix treat before eating. Stale nuts will smell and taste off, and you should throw them away. 

Consider keeping your mixed nuts and dried fruit in the fridge or freezer to avoid spoilage and make them last longer.

Remember to store your trail mix in an air-tight container to keep it fresh and lock out any moisture, smells, and flavors from other foods.

If you want to keep your trail mix at room temperature, store it somewhere cool, dry, and away from excess light and heat exposure.

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